Monday, April 13, 2015

Double Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

When I found a recipe that I love, I'll keep it forever.  This recipe is da bomb!  The fact that I've tried it four times and each one is exactly the same as the one before, says much of the recipe.  I first saw it in Two Peas and Their Pod and I said to myself that it looked sinfully delicious which meant I had to try it.  It's very chocolaty, moist--stays moist for days--and very, very simple to make.  I found out that the recipe came from the book Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food.  Last time when I visited San Francisco, I went to their ice cream place and tried their ice cream.  It was very good so I wasn't surprised that this chocolate cake is as good as their ice cream.

I modified the cake slightly this time by adding some mini chocolate chips to the batter to make it a double chocolate cake :)  Changing the chocolate in the glaze will change the sweet factor of the cake slightly; I've made it with bittersweet chocolate but I also tried semisweet chocolate which wasn't disappointing.  The trick is not to add anymore sugar if using semisweet chocolate.

So hurry to buy the ingredients, you wouldn't want not to make it!

Double Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Serves 10

For cake:
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
½ cup (1 ounce) cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup mini chocolate chips

For glaze:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ½ Tablespoons agave nectar or corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ Tablespoon sugar

To make the cake:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350F.  Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa powder, salt, and water and put over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, just until melted and combined.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to blend.  Add half of the melted butter mixture and whisk until completely blended (it will be very thick).  Add the remaining butter mixture and whisk.  Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each to blend completely before adding the next.  Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a rack.  Let cool completely before making the glaze.

To make the glaze:
Put the chopped chocolate and agave nectar/corn syrup in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan and put over the medium heat.  Stir constantly until the cream is hot and the sugar is dissolved.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.  If it's very runny, let sit for a minute or so to thicken.  Drizzle over the cake.

Source:  adapted from Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food

Friday, April 3, 2015

Strawberry-Lemon Curd Tea Cake

I know that it's not quite strawberry season in Oregon yet, but strawberries have been popping up in the market and sometimes when one wants to eat them, one just has to buy them :)  Macerate those babies with a bit of sugar and they're good for this cake topping.  The cake is actually a giant scone which is good to serve for a large gathering.  Originally in the recipe the cake is topped with whipped cream but I was feeling ambitious and made lemon curd instead.  Oh, it's a good decision indeed!  Tangy, smooth and luscious curd is always a good pick-me-up; it's one of my favorite things to make with lemons.  I made enough so that I have some leftover in the fridge because it's so yummy with morning toast :)

Strawberry-Lemon Curd Tea Cake

Yields 6 to 8 servings

For the scone:

175 g unsalted butter, frozen
250 g self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 g superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
150 ml cold whole milk
Tiny squeeze lemon juice
1 beaten egg for glazing

For the topping:

350 g strawberries, hulled and sliced
50 g superfine sugar
1 tablespoon strawberry jam

Lemon Curd--see this recipe, just use regular lemons instead of Meyer lemons

Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling, optional

Heat oven to 425F.  On the coarse side of a box grater, grate the butter into a bowl, then place back in the freezer for 5 mins.  With a spatula, quickly mix the butter with flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; add the milk and lemon juice, then bring together until you have a butter-speckled dough.  Knead the dough a few times on a floured surface.  Roll out to a circle, press into a lightly greased 8-inch baking pan.  Then brush the top with egg and scatter with a little sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden, then transfer to a cooling rack.

While the scone is cooling, toss the strawberries in a bowl with a sprinkling of the sugar and the jam, then set aside.  

To assemble the cake, place the scone base on a serving plate, spread lemon curd over, leaving a slight edge of the cake showing, then pile the saucy strawberries on top, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if you like.  Serve cut into wedges.

Source:  adapted from Good Food magazine, June 2009